Building Relationships • Developing Leaders • Acting for Justice

Launching Waukegan to College (W2C)

Waukegan to College logoAfter listening to frustrated parents and researching the issue, Lake County United began a concerted push for better educational outcomes in Waukegan, starting with a campaign to start a charter school. In 2009, what resulted in that campaign was the establishment of Waukegan to College (W2C), which is an innovative college-readiness program now serving nearly 100 families through workshops, one-on-one counseling, tutoring, and mentoring. Waukegan to College, now a member of Lake County United, intends to help students graduate and attend college.

Organizing Parents

On February 5th, 2015 parents involved in Waukegan to College (W2C) organized a listening session where they invited parents of the community to discuss the concerns they have for the community, and their family. Parents took the lead role in facilitating the discussion with over 70 participating parents. Out of this conversation, parents decided that they wanted to take part in Waukegan Public Schools by organizing a candidate’s forum. One parent even became a candidate for the school board election.

Waukegan Public Schools Candidates Forum

On March 7th, 2015 Waukegan to College held a candidates forum with the assistance of member institutions, St. Paul Lutheran and Most Blessed Trinity. In the running for three open seats were nine candidates. All but one attended the forum. Over 160 people participated and both "Puro Futbol" and "Lake County Sun News" were present at the action.

Other Victories

  • Published Key Trends at Waukegan High School and the Waukegan Education Improvement Plan to draw attention to the on-going challenges in high school education in the county’s largest city
  • Worked to build the capacity of Waukegan’s high-performing private schools that serve low-income students, such as St. Martin de Porres High School and Lion’s Math & Science Christian Academy in Waukegan.

Lake County United members receive an award for efforts in establishing Waukegan to College In December 2016, LEARN Charter Network President and CEO, Greg White, formally acknowledged and thanked Lake County United for their role in educating the community about charter schools  and laying the ground work for community support that ultimately led to the authorization of LEARN 9.
From left to right: Todd Rockway, St. Paul Lutheran Church; Greg White, CEO LEARN Charter Network; Michael Knight, St. Joseph Catholic Church; Laura Rios, Waukegan to College